Caravaggio 1573 – 1610

Doubting Thomas

oil on canvas (107 × 146 cm) — 1602-1603 Museum Sanssouci, Potsdam

Caravaggio biography

This work is linked to John 20:27

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Also known as Saint Thomas Putting his Finger on Christ's Wound. Thomas is one of Jesus' twelve apostles. When Jesus shows himself to his followers after his resurrection, Thomas refuses to believe that this man really is his master. He demands evidence. Jesus shows him the wound caused by a Roman soldier's lance before his crucifixion. He invites Thomas to put his finger on it. Caravaggio shows that Thomas soon casts aside all doubt.

Almost identical copies of this painting and that of the Pilgrimage to Emmaus were found in a church in the French town of Loches, in 1999. After investigation, it was announced in 2006 that both works were authentic Caravaggios. Both contain the shield of arms of Philippe de Bethune, a friend of Caravaggio's and French ambassador in Rome. Records show that Bethune acquired four paintings from the painter. Caravaggio often made several copies of his own paintings.

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